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Peat compost to be banned – luckily, green alternatives are just as good for your garden

By David Bek, Reader in Sustainable Economies, Coventry University
Margi Lennartsson Turner, Associate Professor of Horticulture, Coventry University
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Peat has been a staple ingredient of composts sold in British garden centres since the 1960s, even though it’s not actually that nutritious for plants. The reason why this spongy turf is coveted by gardeners is that it can hold onto both water and air and it’s generally free of pests and diseases. This makes peat the perfect environment for seeds to germinate and establish strong roots.

But few realise that the peat compost people buy each spring for their gardens took thousands of years to form. Extracted from bogs, fens and marshes, peat is the partially decomposed remains of ancient…


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